Tuesday, May 02, 2006
America and the Fantastic Immigration Double Standard
Unless you're a member of the Detroit Red Wings and you're too busy getting drunk and beating up your wife because you lost to the 8 seed in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the NHL playoffs, you probably saw the news coverage of the giant demonstrations, protests and other such gatherings associated with "A Day Without Immigrants". Let me say that I have no doubt that President Bush's immigration policy ranks second on the Long List of Complete Shit that President Bush calls "Policy" behind only his foreign policy. Let's be frank, foreing or domestic, Bush's solutions to problems tend to leave a lot to be desired to say the least. It's a sad situation when I have colleagues who are physicians who can't get visas to stay here and work, and yet a member of Al Quida can run a hotdog stand in downtown New York City. That's what I call great policy.
With all this attention on immigrants, the neocons have come out swinging. Complete annoyance Lou Dobbs of CNN has made his opinions known about illegal immigrants. People are even arguing over what term to use to describe them. Some prefer undocumented immigrants, while others prefer illegal aliens. Frankly, both sides of this debate are completely missing the point.
The key issues, which Lou Dobbs actually does highlight between racist remarks in his commentary, have to do with the economy and security. National security is obviously in terrible shape if 8-20 million (depending on who you ask) illegal aliens currently reside in our country. Doesn't this scare anyone besides me and Lou Dobbs? Doesn't it make you wonder what the living fuck the Department of Homeland Security has been up to?
With the economy, we can talk all the trash we want about people being here illegally, but they wouldn't be here if people didn't pay them money to work illegally. By calling them illegal immigrants, we're not recognizing all the illegal, under-the-table employment, that companies are benefiting from. And it's not just the evil corporations who are to blame. If you like the fact that your Avacadoes only cost $1 at the grocery store, thank an illegal immigrant. Because if your white trash cousin Dale Jr. was picking Avacadoes it would probably be twice that, and you wouldn't be happy about it.
Americans are quick to call them illegals and berate these people who really only want to make money, just the same as you and me, but never seem to realize that we all directly benefit from their labor. And it's not just in your local produce department. Service jobs at hotels, groundskeepers for parks, meat packing plants, you name it, illegal immigrants take these jobs to keep profits high for their bosses and prices lower for consumers.
So say whatever the hell you want about illegals or undocumenteds or whatever the fuck you want to call them, but spare me the grief if you're just going to have your car detailed by illegal aliens while munching down on a burrito supreme made by illegal aliens with tomatoes grown and picked by illegal aliens all for the tidy sum of $5. It's time to stop demonizing these people and recognize that we're all willing accomplices in this underground economy.
We can't have it both ways.